MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The Roscosmos State Corporation has no plans to postpone the launch of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz manned spacecraft because of unfavorable weather conditions at Baikonur cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan, the corporation has said.
"The postponement of the launch scheduled for March 19, 2016, is not considered so far," says a statement obtained by TASS on Wednesday.The installation of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket at the cosmodrome’s launch site was earlier postponed because of strong wind. "The time of this operation will be determined at a meeting of the technical management to be held at 14.00 Moscow Time, taking into account the actual situation and the meteorological situation in the launch site area," the state corporation said.
According to Kazakhstan’s Hydrometeorological Service, the unfavorable weather conditions will persist for at least three days, with wind gusts reaching speeds of up to 28 meters per second.
The Soyuz TMA-20M manned spacecraft is to bring the International Space Station (ISS) a new crew, which comprises Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams. The backup crew includes Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko and US astronaut Robert Kimbrough.
The manned spacecraft is to be launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 19 at 00.26 Moscow Time. The docking with the ISS should take place about six hours after the launch - at 06.12 Moscow Time.
After this launch, senior officials of the Russian space industry are planning to travel to the country’s new Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East where the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket is to be brought to the launch pad. This event will mark the end of test operations and the beginning of preparations for the first launch from Vostochny due to be held in April.